Starch in Potatoes, Bananas, Breads Provides Health Benefits
Researchers say resistant starches can help with appetite suppression, and perhaps even reduce risks associated with diabetes and colon cancer.
If one of your goals for 2017 is to eat healthier, you might try a baked potato.
Or perhaps eat a banana that isn’t too ripe.
Or maybe some pasta.
A new report out of England concludes that foods like these that contain resistant starches have a number of health benefits with no known harmful side effects.
Researchers from the British Nutrition Foundation say more research is needed, but evidence indicates these starches can help people eat less and improve gut health and blood glucose control.
Their findings were published today
in the Nutrition Bulletin.
The researchers also posted a video
on the foundation’s website detailing their report.
Read more: Simple carbohydrates vs. complex carbohydrates »
How the starches help
The researchers explain that resistant starch is not digested in the small intestine.
Instead, it is fermented in the large intestine, producing short fatty acid chains and becoming, in essence, a form of fiber.
Those acid chains act as an energy source for colonic cells.
The increase in fatty acids in the colon, the researchers say, helps prevent the development of abnormal cells in the gut.
Stacey Lockyer, a nutrition scientist at the foundation, told Healthline in an email that there is “consistent evidence that the consumption of resistant starch in place of digestible carbohydrates can aid blood glucose control.”
This interaction could have a potential benefit for people with type 2 diabetes.
In addition, Lockyer said, there is evidence resistant starch can improve gut health as well as reduce post-meal hunger by stimulating the release of gut hormones that suppress appetite.
She said some forms of resistant starch occur naturally in foods such as potatoes, bananas, and grains.
Resistant starch can also form naturally, she added, when starchy foods such as potatoes and pasta are cooked and then cooled.
Regular consumption of these types of starchy foods, along with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and nuts, can improve health.